The Right Livelihood Collection

Right Livelihood is a courage-powered community for social change. Established in 1980, they are committed to peace, justice and sustainability for all. Each year, they present the Right Livelihood Award. By recognising the actions of brave visionaries and building impactful connections around the world, the Award boosts urgent and long-term social change. 182 Laureates from 72 countries have received the distinction to date. However, the work of the Right Livelihood Foundation goes beyond only presenting the Award: they provide these change-makers with long-term support.

The head office of the Foundation is located in Sweden, however, they are also present in Geneva with an office at Maison de la Paix, just next to the Graduate Institute. Education is one of the core missions of the Foundation, as they work to disseminate and develop the ideas of Right Livelihood Laureates. As part of this mission, the Foundation has built a collection of books written by or about  Right Livelihood Laureates. These books are hosted by the Graduate Institute library, accessible to everyone who is interested. The books can be borrowed according to the loan conditions applicable to the regular collection of the library.

This collection is housed in a dedicated part of our reading room. It currently contains more than 300 books, covering a large range of subjects and perspectives: environment and sustainable development, with books by David Suzuki and Sheila Watt-Cloutier, peacebuilding (Johan Galtung), sustainable agriculture (Wes Jackson), global health (IBFAN, the International Baby Food Action Network), and human rights (Maude Barlow, who fights for the human right to water).

Some Right Livelihood Laureates are already world-famous, like Edward Snowden, while others, such as Gino Strada, a war surgeon and founder of the NGO Emergency, or the Nigerian environmental activist Nnimmo Bassey, are worth discovering. Some of them even went on to receive the Nobel Peace Prize after being honoured with the Right Livelihood Award, such as Denis Mukwege, the Congolese gynecologist treating victims of sexual violence or Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan environmental and women’s rights activist.

This collection will be extended during the coming years. It contains books in several different languages, accessible to a wide audience in a cosmopolitan city like Geneva. So feel free to come and visit us!

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